Sunday, 2 June 2013

The queen fulfils her coronation Oath to uphold the true profession of the Gospel

On 2 June 1953, 60 years ago today, the queen on her coronation took an oath.

She was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury, ‘Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel?’

She answered, ‘All this I promise to do.’

Gillan Scott has usefully catalogued on his blog excerpts from the Queen’s Christmas messages over the last few years and says, I believe correctly, that she has become ‘one of our nation’s greatest evangelists’.

And one does not have to look far in these speeches to see the evidence of her own faith in Christ and the Christian Gospel:

‘For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.’ (2000)

‘I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.’ (2002)

She sees both the beauty in man (being made in the image of God) but also our fallenness and need for redemption:

‘Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.’(2011)

She emphasises the historic truths at the heart of our faith, that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead:

‘…Jesus of Nazareth who, often in circumstances of great adversity, managed to live an outgoing, unselfish and sacrificial life.’ (2008)

‘His death might have been the end of the story, but then came the resurrection and with it the foundation of the Christian faith.’ (2000)  

‘Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith.’ (2012)

And she goes on to emphasise what is at the very heart of the life of faith of the believer:

‘God sent his only son “to serve, not to be served”. He restored love and service to the centre of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ.’ (2012)

 What is our rightful response to Jesus, she asks:

‘The carol, In The Bleak Midwinter… gives the answer “Yet what I can I give him – give my heart”. (2012)

The heart, biblically speaking, refers to our whole selves – mind, will and emotions.

In Passion Week, just before his crucifixion, Pharisees and Herodians sought to catch Jesus out by asking him whether the Jews should pay taxes to Caesar.

The plan was to put Jesus in an impossible position.

If he said ‘no’ he would be in trouble with the Romans, the governing authorities. If he said ‘yes’ he would lose the popularity of the people.

His answer was brilliant:

Jesus knew their hypocrisy. ‘Why are you trying to trap me?’ he asked. ‘Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.’ They brought the coin, and he asked them, ‘Whose image is this? And whose inscription?’

‘Caesar’s,’ they replied. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.’ And they were amazed at him.

Roman coins carried the image of the emperor and so they belonged to the emperor.

This of course begged the question of what it was that carried the image of God.

The Pharisees, who in spite being hypocrites knew their Bibles, would have known the answer to this question.

It is human beings who carry God’s image (Genesis 1:27).

The implication is clear. Human beings belong to God (Psalm 24:1) and so should give their hearts – their whole selves – to God.

This is what the queen, in upholding her coronation oath, encourages all of us to do.

So have you? 

6 comments:

  1. Someone pointed out that if the SSM bill goes through it will put her in an impossible position.

    The King of the Belgians abdicated for a day rather than sign the Abortion Bill into law.

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    1. Yes indeed. Grand Duke Henri, the monarch of Luxembourg, opposed the euthanasia law and as a result was stripped of his executive power to veto laws.

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    2. She has already signed an SSM bill, in Canada. Don't hold your breath.

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  2. Maintaining the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel, to the utmost of one's power, involves a little bit more than just giving a nice little talk on the telly once a year.

    There are several Acts of Parliament, in the UK and in Canada, some connected with issues of same sex marriage and abortion about which you have blogged yourself, to which Her Majesty had no qualms about giving her Royal Assent, flagrantly breaking the one little bit of coronation oath that you quoted. She should have preferred death, or at least to be deposed from her throne, to giving Royal Assent to these various Acts.

    She also visited the pope more than once wearing black and the veil (indicating submission to his superior authority), kissed the pope's ring at least once, and invited the pope to celebrate a mass in Canterbury Cathedral.

    There have been coins in circulation in Gibraltar which on one side depict the Queen's head, and on the other an image of Madonna and child, both crowned and seated on a throne, bearing the inscription "Our Lady of Europe". These coins must have been minted in the Royal Mint. The Queen must therefore have given her approval both of their design and for their production, despite the image being in violation of the second Commandment, and idolatrous in the eyes of Protestants and the Anglican Reformed Church, of which the Queen is head.

    Far from upholding the rights of Scots, English, Welsh and Northern Irish or anybody else to be governed according to their own laws, she instructed her ministers to sign European treaties that reduce the status of the British monarch to that of the Daliwonga of the Tembu tribes Kaizer Matanzima within the Republic of South Africa (the only king I have met personally, and a pleasant enough chap).

    Need I go on?

    Her Majesty Elizabeth II has never taken a public stand on any important issue of principle, so far as I am aware. Along with Ethelred the Unready, Alfred the Great, and Edward the Confessor, England has now had a monarch who deserves to be remembered for centuries to come as Elizabeth the Rubber Stamp.

    All she has done, so far as any of us can tell, has been to protect "the firm", as I am told that the royals themselves affectionately refer to their nice little earner. What a waste of a life! Oh yes, and make some quaint "God slot" TV programmes.

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  3. Thanks for linking to my piece Peter. The Queen has gone out of her way over the last few years to explicitly state her beliefs. She is an example whom a few of our leaders could do with following.

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    1. Yes I agree. She deserves our prayers and support. Thanks for your excellent blog.

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